When detailing Joel Mull’s production career it’s almost easier to name the labels that he is yet to appear on than to list the magnitude of seminal labels that have come calling for his work. Brief highlights include Harthouse (who released Joel’s most recent album ‘The Observer’, Superstition, Turbo, Music Man, Cocoon, Drumcode, EC Records, Audiomatique, Liebe*Detail, Jericho and Saved Records. This variety of labels says everything about the versatility of Joel’s approach to making music and his ability to balance sounds from across the spectrum with heavy-duty rhythms, chords, and melody.
A product of the small but highly productive scene that has grown up in Stockholm, it comes as no surprise that Joel’s discography is heavy on associations with other key players in the creation of the distinctive Swedish techno sound such as Adam Beyer, Jesper Dahlback and Cari Lekebusch. Joel has an amass of studio productions; teaming up with Dustin Zahn for the epic Close Your Eye’s EP on Enemy Reocrds, appearing on Dahlback’s International Sound Laboratory label with a remix of Cari Lekebusch’s ‘Cold Blood’, dropping typically emotive EP’s on Jericho and Spectrum Recordings and somehow finding the time to also conjure up releases on Adam Beyer’s Truesoul label. All this while creating his own new label available on wax, Parabel Music.
Can you please tell the readers a little bit about yourself and your background in the industry?
I have been working full time as a DJ and Producing Music since 1993. The journey began with gigs in the Chill out rooms at Rave parties around Stockholm and then I gradually made the transition to play more on the Dance floor. I have a weak spot for the melancholic harmony in music. Love the deep hypnotic vibe in Techno. And I’m forever bound and destined to keep on doing this until my ears fall off.
Take us through your studio set up?
Its a pretty simple set up these days:
In my own Studio i have a 21″ IMac as main tool connected to a UAD Apollo Twin duo sound card.
A pair of JBL lsr 4326 active monitors for Main mix and a pair of Genelecs 8020 for close up listening. Then i use a small Yamaha usb travel speaker that Carl Cox got me into. Small One build in plastic but if you get the mix sounding good in that little thing it tend to sound good on a lot of systems. I prefer Ableton as DAW and then sometimes ill do mix downs in Logic. It depends on mood. I use a lot of pluggins from UAD and Slate Digital.
But i also use hardware from time to time. Its all depends on the mood of the day really.
It also depends weekly on in what studio i work in.
For example at the moment Me and Adam Beyer are working in a rented studio together with the idea of bringing back the way we began producing back in the day. Meaning recording a lot of hardware thru outboards etc.
And Adam has saved all his gear since the first Synthesizer he bought so we have plenty of stuff to use. Usually we just sit for hours and record stuff that ends up being processed in the Computer later.
What is your favorite piece of equipment to use in the studio right now and why?
If i have to choose one thing it has to be the Soundcard I’m using. UAD Apollo Twin Duo.
Such a easy thing to bring along. And you can use the great arsenal of Pluggins it comes with.
What do you think of analog vs digital in the studio?
I think its nice if you have a balance of both worlds. The analog recorded stuff adds its own warmth and harmonics and tend to add a nice space to the production.
It could sometime sound a bit too clear or clinical with only digital so i would say use it both and combine it.
What one piece of advice would you give to new producers starting out? words of wisdom.
Tune in to your own Harmony and try and find it and stick with it. Don’t try and copy others. Do it your way.
Trust your instinct. And most of all have fun don’t take it too serious it should be fun to do music.
There is a never ending constant process going on and you will never stop learning. I learn something new every day.